In your line of work, it’s not enough to merely outlast the competition. When it comes to retail automotive, a willingness to adapt to new trends and pivot on a moment’s notice can make all the difference. You’ve probably seen it—the strong thrive and the weak struggle to survive. Now, as buying options expand beyond the showroom, the world of automotive retail is becoming more competitive than ever. There’s no room for dealerships that aren’t willing to evolve. It’s a dog-eat-dog industry and your biggest threat comes from your competition, as well as your own decisions to keep up with modern customers. Here’s how to deal with an increasingly competitive market.
Differentiate Your Dealership
As more shoppers go online to research and buy cars, it’s easy for dealerships to blend in with the crowd of competition. Your customers can go anywhere they want, so give them a compelling reason to buy from you. Differentiation can take on many forms—you can stand out based on your business model or brand promise, for example. Just make sure that whatever you decide, it’s authentic. Not sure where to start? Look to your original company values to start. What got you into this business? Are you here to help serve people one-to-one? Talk to your vendors and ask them to step in and meet you here, first.
Exploit Competitive Advantages
As you look for ways to differentiate your dealership, you’ll probably find a whole list of things that you do better than your competition. That’s great. These are your competitive advantages, and you should find fun, creative, and strategic ways to tell your customers all about them. Sit down with your dealership’s leadership team to discuss what you do best. Talk about the weaknesses of your competition and how you may be able to make improvements to find new competitive advantages, whether in your sales team, your location, your online presence, or all of the above. Once you have your list of advantages, discuss how to best use them for your benefit.
Adopt Technologies That Differentiate
When you get started, begin by creating a competitive advantage with your technology tools. If you’ve recently implemented technology at your business, or if you’re considering a switch, conduct an audit on the integration points between your tools, technology, and processes. This may seem like a big ask—and it may be—but connected technology should serve to boost the way your business runs. If it’s not helping your people succeed, and improving the customer experience, then it’s likely slowing you down.
You have some big decisions ahead. Adapt and thrive. Or, keep struggling to fight against your competition. Set your business apart with better tools, interconnected technology, and a customer experience that keeps people coming back.
Learn how to thrive against the competition with the new guide, Thrive and Survive: A Handbook for Dealing with (Almost) Anything.